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Sephardic Music Festival

Tuesday, December 3, 7:15PM

Tavche Gravche

Tavche Gravche

Hazzan George Mordechai

Hazzan George Mordechai

Hazzan Victor Esses

Hazzan Victor Esses


Celebrate Hanukkah with our annual Sephardic Music Festival featuring Tavche Gravche, Hazzan George Mordechai, and Hazzan Victor Esses. Join us for an evening of music from the Jewish liturgical traditions of the Sephardic world as well as songs from the Ladino repertoire. This diverse and dynamic group of performers crosses over between materials of Balkan, Mediterranean, and Iraqi origin.


Reserve tickets through the link on the right. $15 for Shearith Israel and JICNY members / $20 for non-members / $8 for children / $25 at the door.



Hailing from New York City's bustling streets, Tavche Gravche brings forth a fresh take on traditional Balkan tunes, as well as evocative originals by the group's members. Tavche Gravche blends haunting Macedonian and Mediterranean melodies in a dynamic improvisational atmosphere, maintaining the explosive dance-able rhythms and energy of the Balkan music. Macedonian-born and Julliard educated, clarinetist Vasko Dukovski is a concert performer dedicated to breathing new life into the music of his roots. Steeped in both jazz and flamenco, Israeli-born guitarist Dan Nadel provides the fiery textural and harmonic palette for the band's music. Jazz bassist Daniel Ori, also from Israel, is the quartet's founder, and his luxurious sound is its foundation. Master Macedonian percussionist Aleksander Petrov graces the stage with his magic and frees the entire band to go beyond their unique blend of sounds, cultures, rhythms, colors, and become an all-encompassing adventure for the listeners and themselves.


Hazzan George Mordechai weaves his rich cultural heritage into his work as a performer and cantor. Born in Sydney, Australia to Iraqi and Indian Jewish immigrants, he was immersed from an early age in the musical and liturgical traditions of his family. He went on to lead services at the Sephardic Synagogue in Sydney and appeared at various multicultural music festivals around Australia. George continued to perform Ashkenazic, Sephardic, and Middle Eastern liturgical music at concert halls and synagogues in England, Paris, Israel, and various cities around the U.S. while concurrently working on interfaith performance projects with Arab, Jewish, and African-American musicians. He received his Cantorial investiture and Master’s Degree in sacred music from the Jewish Theological Seminary.


Hazzan Victor Esses and his oud will perform pizmonim and bakashot of Syria and Egypt.  Victor Esses began his musical studies learning hazzanut with various cantors in the community. He then studied music theory, oud, and violin with world renown musician Simon Shaheen. He studied voice development and western music theory and notation at The New School and Brooklyn College. He also studied voice and maqamat under the famous cantor Rabbi Rephael Yair Elnadav for 3 years. Victor has taught various workshops on Arabic music theory including a 3-year cantorial training program at the Sephardic Community Center in Brooklyn. He is currently the head cantor at Sephardic Synagogue in Brooklyn.




Beth Olam Cemetery

Beth Olam Cemetery in Ridgewood, Queens has provided for the burials of our congregation since 1851 and will continue to do so for many years to come.

Emma Lazaraus

Emma Lazarus is best known for her famous poem, “The New Colossus,” inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty.